Odyssey Golf has been one of the market leaders in putters for a long time. Their position at the top of the equipment ladder was cemented with the introduction of the 2-Ball Putter back in 2001. For 2010, Odyssey has come up with a who new line of putters called the Backstryke, and they are sure to attract attention with their innovative new design features. Update: May 27, 2010 –> For the full review of these putters, click here!
To paraphrase the press release, Backstryke putters offer a combination of benefits designed to improve the way players align, stroke and roll the ball. Austie Rollinson, Principal Designer for Odyssey adds “The shaft lean found in Backstryke encourages a forward press putting style used by many of the great players in the game. The way the shaft enters the putter head creates a unique balance, a pleasing, almost elegant look, and also makes it easier to align the putter with the ball. Backstryke is a bona fide triple threat.”
So what’s all the fuss about? The Backstryke putters feature visible face alignment that allows players to clearly see if the face is aligned square to the target because the shaft doesn’t impede your view like a traditional putter. Indeed, in my testing of the Backstryke 2-Ball at the PGA Show in Orlando, I found it very easy to align the putter without the shaft in my line of sight.
The Backstryke’s Forward press Stabilization allows the golfer to use a hands-forward position without de-lofting the putter head, thus promoting a slightly upward stroke on the ball. The shaft leans slightly forward at address simply because of the fact that it enters the head of the putter in the back. A slight forward press helps keep the leading arm in line with the shaft and prevents the wrists from breaking down. At least that’s the intent.
The Backstryke putters also feature Odyssey’s new White Ice multi-layer insert. Most casual observers would simply remark that it looks and feels just like the old White Hot insert from several years back, and in my opinion the new insert feels very similar to that old insert. Since the original White Hot insert was hugely popular, it would make sense that Odyssey would want to go back to it. They have actually improved on the insert by making it with an inner core that is 19.6% firmer for better feel and 92% stiffer for better resiliency. Golf balls were softer several years ago when the original white hot was on the market. They have since gotten harder and putter companies made softer inserts to compensate. This new White Ice insert finds a nice balance of feel and pop for the new line, and is in all the Backstryke models and a new line of White Ice Putters.
From my initial testing indoors, these new Backstryke putters should be a hit with some golfers, while traditionalists will likely shy away from the radical design. There are three models available. The Blade, Marxman and 2-Ball. The release date for the new Backstryke putters is April 15, 2010 and the MSRP is $199. UPDATE – Check out our full review of the BackStryke putters here!
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